Author – Cherry_Blossom
“Mrs.Dale, would you like to have some tea?”
As she was wondering why the Duchess would keep her standing there, a suspiciously polite tone alerted Catherine’s ears.
“I beg your pardon?”
‘Did I hear that correctly?’
It wasn’t only Catherine who doubted her ears.
Mielle, who was standing by Erna’s side, had a confused expression as well.
‘I thought you didn’t like her. Why would you have tea with her?’
Her eyes seemed to scream those words.
Ignoring Mielle’s look, Erna tilted her head in Catherine’s direction, pressuring her for an answer.
“Thank you for your kindness, but I have the responsibility of supervising the young master as he reviews his lessons.”
Catherine concealed her thoughts and answered accordingly, pretending to be calm.
On the other hand, as she stood from her seat, Erna maintained her indifferent expression and calmly asked Mielle, who was standing by her side.
“Have someone serve us some tea, we’ll be in the garden.”
She then looked back in Catherine’s direction and waved her hand at her to approach.
“I believe my son will do well on his own.”
Her lips that were curved creating a beautiful warm smile didn’t distract Catherine from the cold stare in Erna’s eyes.
When she realized that the duchess wasn’t actually asking her for her opinion, Catherine swallowed the excuses she wanted to make to escape, and was forced to follow behind.
Even though it was a summer afternoon, the air surrounding the tea table where the two women sat was cold.
Catherine intentionally sighed again and again as she felt uncomfortable with the eerie silence.
The Duchess, who was sitting across Catherine, was leisurely sipping her tea without uttering a single word.
If it wasn’t for the purple eyes that glanced in her direction every now and then, she would have believed that the duchess had forgotten about her.
Catherine clenched her fist underneath the table.
‘How dare she treat me this way?!’
The Duchess she knew would never act so arrogantly.
She never interfered with Catherine’s duty in raising Jonas and was a woman who was easy to manipulate.
Yet somehow, sitting across her now was a woman who, even as she silently sat still, exuded an air of superiority.
The kind of people Catherine hated the most.
People like her husband, who had repeatedly reminded her of her low origins.
Prior to her marriage, Catherine was a poor commoner, but very few people knew that fact as her husband was a noble from Talia kingdom before permanently residing in Rasmodia so people simply assumed that his wife was a noble from Talia kingdom as well.
When the Baron asked his distant relative, the dowager duchess of the Argentine dukedom for help, she graciously extended her hand and had Catherine employed as Jonas’ nanny after thoroughly looking into her background and had concluded that Catherine was a suitable nanny for her grandson.
At that time, her decision was influenced by the fact that not many noble women were willing to serve in the north, away from their families, and the duchess had yet to look after her son in addition to Zachary being away for war.
So in the end, it was a great opportunity for Catherine, who wanted away from her husband and also wanted to establish her position among nobles through the next heir of the Argentine Dukedom.
She hoped that he would one day come to see her as a mother and thus repay her kindness in the future, just like the duke, who had graciously repaid his nanny, Mrs.Lippert, by making her a considerably wealthy woman and even entrusting her with the position of a head maid in his estate.
It was no secret to the public that the dowager Duchess had neglected her son as she mourned her first child and that Mrs Lippert was the only one the young Zachary depended on.
With the way the current Duchess was acting towards her son, Catherine had bigger plans for her future.
And for a while, it was all going well.
Swallowing a sigh of frustration, Catherine was the first to break the silence.
“Your grace, is there something you would like to say?”
There was still no answer.
After a few moments, Erna gracefully put down her tea cup in a slow mouvement.
Almost as though she was purposely irritating Catherine.
“I thought I should thank you.”
Catherine once again doubted her ears.
“… For what?”
“For taking care of my son so far.”
It hadn’t escaped Catherine that Erna had unusually repeated the word son several times since earlier.
“As you might have known, I had Jonas at a very young age and …”
As her slim fingers traced over the edge of the teacup, Erna’s voice gradually died down.
A frail hand clenched the white shirt tightly.
‘You heard the midwife. Your labor is lasting a while longer because it’s your first pregnancy but there’s nothing to be scared of. You’re going to be fine.’
‘… You’re going to be fine.’
The voice that comforted her repeated those words several times as though it was compelling the owner to believe it instead.
‘Just one more push, madam. You can do this.’
‘Congratulations madam, it’s a baby boy.’
‘Did you decide on a name yet?’
Catherine called out to her who had suddenly stopped talking.
“Ah, yes… As you know-”
When Catherine called again, Erna collected her breath and faced her with a calm expression, hiding her disturbed mind.
‘What in the name of god was that? These aren’t Charlotte’s memories!’
“-I had Jonas at a very young age and everything happened so fast that I became so overwhelmed. So I am very grateful towards you for having taken care of my son in the meantime as a good nanny would.”
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